Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin D’

Lack of Vitamin D Ups Heart Risk

December 13, 2008

Lack of Vitamin D Ups Heart Risk

Vitamin D deficiency has long been linked with weak muscles and bones. Now research shows a lack of the “sunshine” vitamin may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In fact, evidence is mounting from numerous studies that low vitamin D levels could play a role in a host of CVD risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. What’s more, a lack of the vitamin may be a direct factor in cardiovascular events, including stroke and congestive heart failure.

In a review article just published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), James H. O’Keefe, M.D., cardiologist and director of Preventive Cardiology at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and his co-authors list practical recommendations to screen for and treat low vitamin D levels, especially in patients with risk factors for CVD and diabetes. The article points out that recent data from the Framingham Heart Study suggests people with vitamin D levels below 15 ng/ml were twice as likely to experience a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event within the next five years compared to those with higher levels of vitamin D. This elevated risk remained even when researchers adjusted for other well-known cardiovascular risk factors.

“Restoring vitamin D levels to normal is important in maintaining good musculoskeletal health, and it may also improve heart health and prognosis. Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized, emerging cardiovascular risk factor, which should be screened for and treated,” Dr. O’Keefe, M.D., said in a media release. “Vitamin D is easy to assess, and supplementation is simple, safe and inexpensive.”

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) review points out that about half of U.S. adults and 30 percent of children and teenagers are estimated to have vitamin D deficiency. Low vitamin D levels are believed to raise the risk of hypertension and a stiffening and thickening of the heart and blood vessels. By altering hormone levels and immune system function, vitamin D deficiency can also increase the risk of diabetes, a major contributor to CVD.

According to Dr. O’Keefe’s statement to the press, vitamin D deficiency is far more prevalent than once thought. This may be due to the fact most of the body’s vitamin D usually comes from exposure to the sun – but indoor lifestyles and use of sunscreen, which eliminates 99 percent of vitamin D synthesis by the skin, means many people are not getting enough of the essential vitamin. “We are outside less than we used to be, and older adults and people who are overweight or obese are less efficient at making vitamin D in response to sunlight,” said Dr. O’Keefe.

To increase levels of vitamin D, Dr. O’Keefe suggests exposing yourself to sunlight for 10 minutes between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., if you are Caucasian. If you have increased or dark skin pigmentation, you may need to spend more time in the sunshine. Other sources of vitamin D include salmon, vitamin D-fortified foods, some cereals and supplements.

Nature news

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Vitamin Sun

November 25, 2008

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D: an exclusive interview with Dr. Michael Holick
Dr. Michael Holick is the world’s foremost authority on vitamin D and the healing power of natural sunlight. He’s the author of The UV Advantage, and in this interview, Dr. Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. This is one of the most eye-opening interviews you’ll ever read on health.

Here’s some of what you’ll find inside:

* Why and how your body manufactures vitamin D.
* How your body automatically regulates proper levels of vitamin D, even with excessive sunlight exposure.
* Why vitamin D deficiencies are now epidemic in the American population (and what it means to their health).
* How vitamin D deficiencies cause prostate cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, osteoporosis, rickets and other diseases.
* The true cause of asthma and why antihistamines only conceal the symptoms of the disease rather than treating its cause.
* Why African Americans and Hispanics are especially susceptible to vitamin D deficiencies due to skin pigmentation.
* Why the sunscreen industry doesn’t want you to read this information and has tried to discredit Dr. Holick.
* Why milk and orange juice are poor sources for vitamin D. Revealed: a much better nutritional supplement that provides a vitamin D boost!
* Why where you live on the planet ultimately determines how much sunlight you need.
* How dermatologists misinform people about the real risks of sun exposure.
* Seasonal Affective Disorder: how to treat it with sunlight exposure.
* Revealed: a simple, five-second test that reveals whether you’re suffering from severe vitamin D deficiency.
* Why vitamin D defiencies impair your body’s ability to absorb calcium!
* Fifteen facts you probably never knew about vitamin D.
* A complete list of diseases and disorders caused by vitamin D deficiencies.

Source

Seems to be an interesting little book.